Death awaits in free horror game Welcome to Quiet Haven

(Image credit: Tom Sykes)

Retro horror game Faith meets (I guess retro now?) B-Game Deadly Premonition in Welcome to Quiet Haven, an enjoyably infuriating top-down horror where death waits around every corner, probably in a massive 4x4.

Where Faith's art style is a precise mixture of old-fashioned and up-to-date animation, the two Quiet Haven demos (this is the second, and there'll be a full game coming at some point) are a little cruder, a little more raw in their pixel art, and I love this second demo for it. Hop in a car and you'll notice that it doesn't turn vertically—move it up or down as you explore, and it sort of slides around the screen instead. It's wonderfully daft, in a way that chimes perfectly with the game's playfully cruel nature.

You're trying to find a bunch of probably cursed items that have a connection to a motel, and you do this by exploring a large town, in top-down scenes but also with a few first-person, 3D interior environments. As you roam about, monsters or monsters in cars might come out of the blue, taking you by surprise and probably killing you. Once you're dead, you have to begin the whole game again, but it's short and freeform enough that it's not such a big deal—and who knows, you may even survive your second encounter.

You have a car, with a gas meter, that allows you to explore the town more quickly, a fact that put me in mind of Deadly Premonition. But as I type this, I'm reminded more of The Evil Within 2, with its quasi-open-world horror spaces in which missions could be tackled in any order.

It will probably annoy you, but it will also probably make you laugh. That's two emotions for the price of one in Quiet Haven. (Thanks, IndieGamesPlus.)

For more great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.